Okay, lemme apologize beforehand for being an idiot when it comes to cars. Any cars. I think all cars look the same. Car shaped.
That being said, my friend/roommate can look at any care on the road and tell you the make model an year. He, however, does not like going online to ask for help, so if I don't do it, we'll never get this solved, so I am doing this on his behalf. Mostly. Just so you know that everything I say has been from what he's said, and he doesn't know I'm coming here.
I AM coming here because for all our problems, this site has been tremendous amounts of help, but I feel it's time I sought out specific problems to this car and see if I can them answered. Any and all help would be appreciated.
So, first of all, a little history of the car. He bought an 88 mx6 from this idio- I mean friend. No scratch that. He's an idiot. I know nothing about cars, but I know to "cool down an egine faster" you don't "Poor ice cold water on it." But idiot had bought the car from someone else. Someone who took off the power steering belt because 'it keeps the car straighter' and sawed off the exhaust at the catalytic converter to increase horsepower.
And he had paid about a $2000 for it I think, and was doing things like running it hot and pouring cold water on, or without oil.
Now, my friend is the guy people usually ask to help fix their car, and 9 times outta 10, he can fix it himself. When the idiot friend couldn't get his car started, he called my roomate, who showed up, took about 5 minutes for him to look and undo the fuel filter and tap out a bunch of brown sludge and tell him he needs a new one. Not that idiot listened. We'll call idiot "Nef" and my friend "Jay".
Now, Nef always only used water in his radiator. Period. And one day he calls saying his car overheated, died, and needed towed because he couldn't get it to start again. Jay couldn't fix it without paying parts for it, and Nef couldn't afford parts so he was going to junk yard it for scrap for quick cash. So Jay paid him $200 instead to take it off his hands. it was agreed, and the thing is in the parking lot of our complex.
Now, when Jay looks at an engine and goes "WTF" something is wrong. Usually he can ghetto fix it to work, but alas, not this time. For one, it's a brand new fuel filter, but the care actually will turn over if it's NOT HOOKED UP. It'll run for a little bit, but obviously it shoots gas everywhere. He checked the lines, nothing's cracked, no leaks, nothing. The car still started and would run, but it would run hot, just idling, and the idle was low and it would shut back off if you didn't hold down the gas. When he took off the hose to the intake while messing with the idle, it was leaking some green-brown soupy stuff. I took all the hoses off, even the filter and the ones that go to the intercooler, and they were filled with the stuff. When I got to the turbo it was practically pouring out of it. So we took off the turbo, all those hoses, cleaned them out, used throttle cleaner to clean the stuff out of the intake. Put it all back. Still nothing, obviously, but the car wasn't making a funny smell it was before which we guessed was that wierd smelling stuff trying to burn?
So we checked for spark, and there was none. Well, first of all, the firing order was wrong I guess, which explains why it would randomly start and take a few tries. From what we looked up on line it's "1342" going clockwise from the cap.
Another thing, we took off the distributor cap and rotor, which had worn down from a plate to a blade, so I bought a new rotor, cap, and plug wires. He bought some E3 spark plugs as well.
So, we tried again, and hey! the car starts without overheating as quickly as before, but it has this knocking he says sounds like 2 cylinders arn't firing, and the idle won't stay. Then it wouldn't start again. It takes trying over and over and gently nudging the gas and then praying. So, we moved on to timing. We had bought one of the books, but the book was for the 323,626,probe,mx6 and the rx7. One of the instructions on how to take apart somethine was "unbolt it and remove" So it was just about useless.
We eventually figured it out in the book, or at least I assume we did. We got the top gear (Cam shaft?) to have 1 pointing up, and the bottom one has the white dot facing up. If theres more to that, please help there too. Jay will admit when it comes to getting THAT technical with an engine he's at a loss. This is like a project car I suppose to try an learn.
Anyways, that helped get it started without him cranking so much. Most of the time we've got the battery hooked up to his car because it keeps dying so quick.
But again it would start, but the idle wouldn't stay, and if you turned the car off, it wouldn't start again, and the timing would be off. We never put any of the exhaust back on since we figured we'd be messing with it all again. You could actually hear the turbo 'psssh' though, which you couldn't when Nef had it.
I don't know how this led to the head gasket, but I guess someone told him that's the knocking, and it's blown. SO we took the head off, opened, it was full of that wierd sludge we've come to assume is a mixture of oil and radiator fluid (That he had put in the radiator after we cleaned the turbo and hoses out.) And the head was aaaallll kinds of melted and cracked looking. So, he replaced that, and we found on this site how to torque it back down properly. If theres something we might have done wrong, please let us know. We torqued it to 64 pounds I beleive.
Also, we bought pipe parts and made a a new exaust. Put the whole thing back together and gave it an oil change. AAaaand we're back to square one. Now theres a whole new noise coming from the cylinders when we try to start it, a whole new smell, and it won't start again.
Ask me anything, or tell me what we're missing, but we NEED a second car. We've only spent like, 4-500 on this car, so getting it up and running would be better than payin 1-2000 to get another whole car and having to fix whatever might be wrong with it.
Car was ran hot, constantly,
fuel filter was usually clogged, wasn't replaced till MUCH later, and would try to start better if disconnected.
the spark plugs, distributer cap and rotar, and wires have been replaced.
The head gasket has been replaced.
turbo and air hoses have been cleaned out and haven't been filled with that stuff since.
the battery has been charged prior to use, or jump started with another car.
the previous two owners were very stupid and who knows what else could be wrong.
There is also an on/off switch right behind the fuel pump up against the firewall that we have no idea what it does or where it leads to, but we're pretty sure it does nothing, and don't know if that's factory?
Ask me anything, elaborate on anything we might have done wrong, just pleeeeaaaase help us!
Okay Let's see, "IF" you have Air/Fire/Fuel/Compression it should run. Assuming you have your firing order correct, Distributor Clocked correctly which also controls Fuel Injector timing. But...... Considering how hot you said the Engine has been consistently, I would have stopped when i Saw the underneath side of the head being melted. If it has been that by God hot, odds are there is more wrong other than the top end (like the rotating assembly) which is likely to be where the knock is coming from if you still have it after changing the head and or it was detonating which is likely timing. You could have a Galled Cylinder, bad rings, which could cause it not to start. If you had the distributor off,make sure its not 180 Degrees out. I am so tired i cant even remember if thats possible or not, someone please correct me if im wrong. Also,check the retaining bolts that holds the distributor it in place and make sure you have it locked down where the Courtesy Marks are ( The marks that where left behind from where the bolts had been its entire life). Make sure Cam timing is correct. Make sure firing order is correct. Make sure you have adequate fuel pressure. Once you have checked all this, i would highly recommend checking your compression. Each Cylinder reading should be no more than 25% apart from each other, and i personally would not want to see anything less than 100psi on each cylinder. And please Un-Plug the The Distributor when you do the Compression Test to be safe. Sorry if i sounded rude, meant no harm. Sorry guys, can't sleep so im being a Post Whore.
There is an idle solenoid attached to the back of the throttle boot, there should be two wires coming off of it, if the wires are severed, then that would explain the car stalling out on idle. Check that and also check that the rpm on the car is set at 1000 rpm with the car running while parked. Make sure whenever you're messing with the idle or timing, to have it in "limp mode" and you know about the vaf idle screw? Might want to read up on that, and the limp mode setting for the car. Also you could run codes through the self diagnostic mode, might want to see if the car is throwing any codes. Might lead you to the problem and second guessing. There is a thread with the codes and explanations somewhere in the forums. Hope this helped some, good luck.
Also check the igniter isn't covered in crud, if so, clean it.
Welp, we havn't checked the wires yet, but somebody had told us about the Igniter being a pain in the rear with this car, and tried looking up a way to test it, but everything always leads to "just replace it", or "Bypass it" which he doesn't know how to do. It did have corrossion in it that we mostly got out, but should we assume it needs replaced then? And how much of a problem could that be causing?
It was suggested when we were told to replace the coil, but the new coil isn't putting out any power whatsoever, so we tried putting the old one back on and now IT isn't putting out any power to the Distributor.
And the idle had been at 1200-1400 rpm (bounced around there between all the times messing with things.) When it died, it would randomly jump up to 1500 and you'd just watch it drop down below 1000 and die.
Good news, the car is actually running after a number of random fixes. It was my job to look up the firing order, and I apparently read all the wrong things, and still might have it wrong, but re-looking it up per suggestion got the car running enough to work with it finally.
The order was 1-3-4-2, but how I read it somewhere made me think it was from the distributor to the engine. Like, 1 from the distributor goes to the first cylinder, then 3 from the distributor goes to the second cylinder. So my bad there. I think I have it right now, where 1 on the cylinder goes to one on the distributor, and the third cylinder goes to the second spot on the distributor. Is that correct? -_- Yes, I'm that stupid, sorry.
On top of this, and this is some bad news, it was suggested that our problem with spark was actually the coil. So we bought an Accel coil, because it was cheap and we didn't know if it would fix the issue. But this coil has only a positive and negative bolt, and the the old coil was a plug, so the suggester told him to cut the plug out and attach the wires to the coil.
Can anyone tell me how wrong/right that is? As it is now the car starts, but I looked online and usually read that you need a ballast in the circuit, but I can't find any good diagrams and images of what wires are what to know where this should be hooked up.
Finally, we did run codes, and the only 3 that came up were 1, and 8 and 9, if I remember. I remember it was a ignition, thermostat sensor, and mass airflow sensor.
But looking for what 1 meant led me to it's a catch all for the car not starting right.
Also, removed the header and I retapped one of the bolts and tightened it back on, and one of the knocking noises is gone now.
He took it for test drive. The car starts with a sputter but does start, it stays on, and occasionally gives a quiet backfire or sputter. It made it up a hill, but his wording is 'the car has no balls' and makes a whole lotta noise to rev up and go nowhere, but otherwise doesn't die out on him, and makes it up hills just fine, but we're not comfortable with it as a reliable vehicle yet.
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